What did voters tell Washington in 2016? They wanted to “rock the boat.” Read through our in-depth 2016 Post Election Analysis to find out how voters defined their choice, and what role deeper concerns over the direction of the country, the economy, and the political system played in that decision.
Commenting in an LA Times column by Doyle McManus, the WG’s David Winston lays out challenges for Republicans in the election ahead – Trump’s unfavorables, particularly among women, and Congressional Republican candidates’ potential need for ticket-splitting voters and a sense of direction for those candidates.
“The structural problem of the Trump candidacy is his ‘unfavorable’ numbers,” GOP pollster David Winston told me. “Among women, who — did I mention? — are the majority of the electorate, his unfavorables are in the 70s. Those aren’t easy numbers to turn around, particularly when a candidate has had as much exposure as Trump.”
…In some states, candidates “are going to depend on people who are voting for [Democrat Hillary] Clinton to switch sides and vote for the other party” when it comes to Congress, Winston noted. “That’s hard to do.”
…“House candidates are going to need a sense of direction, and they don’t necessarily want to rely on Trump to provide it,” Winston said. If Trump appears headed for defeat, the Ryan program could give them a lifeline.
…“Everybody writes off a party after it has a bad election,” Winston said. “After 2008, when Obama won, people said it was the end of the Republican Party. But two years later we had 2010 and won a majority in the House.”
For more, head here.
In recent polls, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s ratings are down on measures such as whether Americans feel she “cares about people like you” or “understands the problems of people like you.”
Republican pollster David Winston said the intense early focus on such issues gives Republicans an opening to define the terms of the debate over the direction each party wants to take the country.
“If she doesn’t have a product on the shelf — her ideas — what’s the point?” Winston asked.
Read the rest of the story here.
In the 2014 midterm elections, what did voters tell Washington? “Fix it.”
Read through our in-depth analysis to find out more about what voters want, who comprised the 2014 electorate, and what challenges and opportunities are ahead for both parties.
Access the PDF here.
In Thursdays Wall Street Journal, Janet Hook addresses the pessimism felt by Americans across party lines about the state of the economy and the prospects that it will improve, especially for the next generation. The WG’s David Winston points out what most voters are feeling:
“The economy may be getting slightly better, but the progress is unacceptable,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who works closely with congressional GOP leaders. “Everybody — Republicans, Democrats and independents — are looking for, ‘What are the solutions?’
“Both parties, instead, are trying to define only why the other candidate is worse,” Mr. Winston said. “That’s unsatisfying discourse for the electorate.”
To read the full article, turn to wsj.com.
In an opinion piece for Bloomberg, Francis Wilkinson writes about the effect that the troubled rollout of Obamacare has had on the Democratic Party, and what this means for Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, both speculated to be considering running for president in 2016. The WG’s David Winston comments:
David Winston, a top strategist for Republican House leaders, had a similar reply: “Not sure I see that at this point,” he wrote in an e-mail. “What is the choice being defined if it were Clinton versus Warren? Is that a choice that splits the moderates and the left because it is seen [as] a fundamental difference? Right now the Democrat challenge in setting things up for either [candidate] – is the struggling economy, and the management of the implementation of the ACA.”
To read the full article, turn to bloomberg.com
Walter Shapiro writes for Yahoo News about the one major issue that has been overshadowed by budget and Obamacare debates: jobs. Shapiro states that politicians aren’t paying enough attention to the polls. He turned to the WG’s David Winston for some insight:
The voters get it. “I have done a lot of focus groups in the last few years,” says Republican strategist David Winston, who advises the House and Senate GOP leadership. “And there’s one number that people know — and that’s the unemployment rate. And they’re sophisticated about it. They know that the unemployment rate understates things because of people leaving the workforce.”
To read more:yahoo.com
With the government shutdown over and the Obamacare website now live, Washington debates center around the site’s inability to operate properly as promised. David Nather writes that the issue is becoming one that could define the 2013 elections. David Winston comments:
“The challenge for Republicans is to make this a policy fight, not a political fight,” said David Winston, a top Republican pollster who advises the House GOP leadership. “It’s incumbent upon Republicans to come up with an alternative. For most people, going back to where we were is not an option.”
Read more: politico.com
In the latest news on the on-going government shutdown, the New York Times reports on the continued back-and-forth disagreements between House Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama. But the WG’s David Winston doesn’t think that either side knows how the debate will end:
But David Winston, a Republican pollster close to Mr. Boehner, said Mr. Obama’s stance was likely to prove unpopular as well. “Anyone who says he knows how this is going to turn out doesn’t know,” Mr. Winston said. “We are in a very unsettled time.”
To read more: nytimes.com
Brian Hughes write for the Washington Examiner on the recent scandals that have taken over Washington, and whether these events will have any effect on the mid-term elections. The WG’s David Winston comments that the GOP can’t necessarily see the scandals as victories for them:
“Just because there’s a scandal doesn’t mean you’ve won,” said Republican pollster David Winston, pointing to 1998, when Republicans lost House seats despite President Clinton’s self-inflicted woes. “The other side is embroiled in putting out fires. It presents a clear opportunity to define the policy debate — the question is, what do you do with that opportunity?”
To read the full article, turn to washingtonexaminer.com.